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This Week in Defense

News/Business. Guests from the Defense Department, Congress and the defense industry.

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Afghanistan 12, Pakistan 5, China 5, Us 4, America 4, Hamid Karzai 3, Bob Gates 2, Pentagon 2, U.s. 2, Iraq 2, Obama 1, United States 1, David Patraeus 1, Resilience 1, Navy 1, Tillpy 1, Bin 1, Mike Mullen 1, Llc 1, The General 1,
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  CBS    This Week in Defense    News/Business. Guests from the Defense  
   Department, Congress and the defense industry.  

    July 10, 2011
    11:00 - 11:30am EDT  

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♪[ instrumental music ] welcome to this week in defense news. on the eve of his trip to china, i sat down with aderal mike mullen when he visited our offices in virginia. mullein started his <÷& extraordinary military career at the naval academy in 1964. he was commissioned in 1968 and became chief of nave operations in 2007, chairman of the joint - chief of staff. during his tonier that well end in october, he has in the wars in afghanistan and iraq, managing the thorny pakistan relationship and preparing the united states for a leaner
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future. we started with afghanistan. with bin laden dead and relations with pakistan fraying. americans, including those who served in afghani, are saying that the mission is unduable the best course is to withdrawal as soon as possible. i asked the chief if the mission is still achievable. >> a critical part of the world. as we focus on this, it has been a focus on both afghanistan and pakistan and the region. as you said, bin laden is dead and had a huge impact on al- qaeda, but it did not eliminate al-qaeda. their leadership still lives there, and they threaten to plot and kill as many americans as they possibly can. we need to continue the press on al-qaeda and defeat them. strategically defeat them. that can only be done there. secondly, we are, with respect to afghanistan, we are working
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our way through a long-term strategic agreement right now, which, to which afghanistan president hamid karzai has indicated strong support. all of that is tied to a long- term partnership there. the idea that -- afghanistan president hamid karzai wants us to leave is one i just don't sign up to. we certainly had our challenges with respect to being there and dealing with the afghanistan president hamid karzai government, that said, we worked our way through a lot of that, david patraeus in particular, the civilian fese. the private contractor piece. we, with the afghans, developed a afghanistan national security force that has got increasingly better. that's really the long-term answers. >> your confident that the build up is sufficient? >> when you look back over the last 18 months in terms of what they had, in -- with respect to
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training infrastructure, trainers, schools, they had virtually nothing. we were recruiting people off of the street on a friday and putting them in the field on monday. that has changed dramatically. we have upwards of 35,000 finalliens in training this week in the various schools. we focused on an improved literacy rate and made progress there. we will have fielded by the end of this fiscal year, in the next couple of months a force of 300,000, a little bit over 300,000, actually, army and police. they are in the field. they are leading in some operatioosl they are with us on all operations. we have seen a lot of progress there. we talk about the games be fragile and reversible. the gains have been significant, popularly in the south, they only become irrelevant reversible through the afghani security force and the afghan people.
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that's the main effort. with what we have achieved over the course of the last 18 to 24 months in terms of improved security and governance in those areas are starting to improve. the growth of the afghan security forces. i do think it is doable. we still have challenges that we have to deal with in respect to over all governments, the afghan government itself. challenges with safe havens in pakistan, which continue the fuel the insurgency and our relationship with pakistan. since the bin laden killing, which is certainly at its low point from the time i'm chairman, but i do believe it is doable. i think it is far too simplistic to think just because we kill bin laden it is time to come home. this is a campaign. it is going to take some time. we made a lot of progress with respect to al-qaeda. we have to get to a point that finally can no longer rel
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constituted al-qaeda, if you will or a terrorist organization like al-qaeda. >> let me ask you about the resilience of the force. portions have been in constant operations for 20 years after vast portion of it has been at full war for ten years. people are tired, equipment is tired. how resilient is the force to handle another major shock. an extension in iraq, afghanistan or elsewhere? >> honestly, i have been really surprised in ways how resilient our force has been. given that this is our 10th year of war and to your point, certainly on the aviation cider we've been busy since -- since 1991, 19 to time frame. in that, over the course of that 20 years, we've worn out an awful a lot of new equipment. there is no question we've got to take steps in the future to reset ourselves. but i don't think that the world is going to break off.
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i think we're still going to still have challenges and forces and out and about. we will have to do both. we do need to get to a point where our forces have home at least twice as long has they are deployed. the army is moving over the next year and a year and half, we will be approaching that position. the marine corps it will be a little bit longer because of the number of forces that the marines have deployed to afghanistan right now, but we are moving in that direction. we need to focus on that. all of the leaders in the military are focused on building resilience, recognizing that we need down time, while at the same time focusing on the continuing challenges that i think, not just, just not the ones we see. so, iraq, afghanistan, but the ones that will continue to be tout there at a very uncertain time, within the confinds of what i understand the limits to be in a place like arc or
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evening afghanistan. we can increase this time at home. increase this time and provide an opportunity to build some of that resilience, but resilience is not just built when you come home. i think all of us have to focus on building resilience in our military men and women and our families on day one. when someone signs up to come in the military. because our overall pace is going to continue to be pretty sig nim accident we need that resilience at we look at the demand signal, which i think will be out there for a significant period of time. >> stay tuned for more with
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welcome back for more of my interview with admiral mike mullen. he was among the first top defense officials to label to growing u.s. debt as a national security problem. i asked the chairman if the debt lip saturday not raised on august 2nd, what impact will be on the pentagon and what is being done to prepare for that possibility? >> well, we went through a, a, a period of time, everyone is aware of, where we almost shut the government down. the preparation we had for that, was certainly instructive on what we had to do. i hope that we don't get to that again. one of the first questions my spouse asked me, actually it was out on a trip on the west coast, was -- a national guard
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spouse asked me if she was going to get paid and her husband was deployed. that is a fundamental questions and some of our troops and families are living paycheck to paycheck. i think that we have to be very careful with that. at the strategic level with respect to the debt challenge, i actually do still -- consider, you know, our national debt to be the biggest threat with respect to our international court, we have to solve it. >> to fund the military. >> from my perfect effective, it is simple math. more that debt becomes, the smaller the budget that pentagon is going to be. which will reduce our capability overtime fairly dramatically. that's the concern that i have. that's the one that i expressed some time ago. i'm hopefully, like a lot of other people this is resolved. >> let's go to the question how much is in it for defense.
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the president said that defense spending cuts will be part of any deficit reduction deal. the original plan was a $400 billion cut. some people are saying 500? people are saying $700 billion. the question is front loading and back loading. how much is different for defense and what is the case for military funding in this budget? >> well, the seven-day forecast's first week is this week. he and i sat down and talked about this being, you know, a top priority to figure out how to get at the $400 billion reduction. right now, that's the target. that's what the president gave bob gates and we are working on. it is 400 billion doll over 12 years. out through fiscal '23. clearly the immediate focus on '27 and '13. i said from the beginning i think defense has to be on the
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table. we all for to participate in this. we have to be careful about it. my responsibility is to fund the wars and take care of people and their families. it is new york view when we look at cuts like this and changes like this, we will have to slow down in some areas to include some programs that have to be eliminated if they are not preforming as they should be sore slowed document dramatically. we been through this before. we are fighting two wars and have a level of us tillpy in labia. the terrorist threats. we have to be very careful as we look at how to make the adjustments and continue to sustain and meet the national security requirements that are out there. i think this is doable, within
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the -- the, the confines of the challenges, the requirements that we have right now. i think if there are additional cuts that come after that, we will have to get to a point where we have to do less. >> let me ask you about that. you famously said that the department because of cuts make the decision for difficult decisions. now, what are you advising him. where are you going the reform and cut and not cut? >> those decisions obviously have not been made. we're going through that right now. what is very important that we work through this comprehensive review. which will layout a trat strategy so we understand the strategy that we're trying to adhere to and execute. then make decisions about -- programs and people, that get to the 400 bill$ in a way that support that strategy.
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i really, i think, you know, bob gates said this, i think, a haircut or everybody just taking a little bit off of the top isn't going to work. i think that we have to be very precise and focused in where we'll do take cuts. they will come. i do, i would reemphasize what i said. when you go through a decade and have had the money and didn't make hard choices we have lost that. the seven-day forecast, the president, myself, the service chiefs and secretaries have said that we will make hard decisions. one of my goals is the make them together. >> where can you take risk? do you think? >> well. i mean, we have to, that's going to be tied to the strategy. it's going to be something that, that we will look at in terms of -- areas -- that -- create opportunities for potential savings. but, i'm not prepared to say where that would be right now.
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because we have not worked our way through that. >> are we were ready for fundamental personnel reform. changes how we use people and how we match people to work and also howl we compensate people to strike that right balance between reward for service and affordability. >> coming from the mid '90s, we worm not a well compensated force. we did not have the kind of programs that we have now for our families in terms of support and their, their readiness. family readiness is an intergle part of our overall readiness. we are a well compensated force right now. as we look at these reviews everything is on the table including pail and benefits. secretary gates said that. i believe that. i think that we have to be very careful with that kind of thing. when i was the head of the navy a few years ago. somewhere between 60% the 70%
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of my budget was people costs. that is active, reserve, military and civilian. so, and, for ground force, predominantly ground force, like the marine and armally it is actually higher than that. untold to make changes you have to go where the money is. that is where a significant amount of the money is. we have to do that carefully. i would certainly not advocate deep cuts in that area, but we need to look in that area. as well as our procurement an operating accounts. those are the three big buckets. we will have the make changes in each of those. >> coming up next -- the threat that keeps the chairman awake at night.
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welcome back to this week in defense news. late last week i sat down with
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i asked is him when he looked to 2025, what are the thefts that keep him awake at night. >> the biggest threat that is out there, i think it is cyber. i think that we're going to have to focus a lot more on it. we're going to have to put more resources against it. we're going to have to train people better. line leaders as well as skilled individuals. >> the whole organization. >> because cyber, actually, can attack or infrastructure, our financial systems. etc. it is a space with no boundaries and rules. there are people who are very good at it. countries who are very good at it, that more than anything else, that's the long-term left that really keeps me awake. >> let me take you to china. we're about to visit there. as we air, you're scheduled to be in china on a visit. mm power. our alleys in asia are getting nervous. we're going to be spending more
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time there, and that sets the stage for conflict. what do you hope to achieve. >> well, you said leading economic indicator. one of the things i have tried to focus on in the last decade is those countries who economic engines drive the world. china is one of those. we're another. there are certainly others. so, having a military to military relationship is, i think, really important. i'm returning -- to china visiting my counterpart there, who just visited here. jaw, the general, who was here just a few weeks ago and time invited me the come. the whole idea is the establish a relationship that can withstand some of the differences and talk about things that we agree on, the counterterrorism world, the domain, piracy and also continue to be about the discuss difficult issues. certainly, we are -- well
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present, the united states is well present in the pacific region and we're going to safe -- very much focused and very much engaged in that part of the world. there are difficult challenges associated with it. so. i hope, i certainly will talk about those issues. , but between his visit and my visit, hopefully, establish a pattern where these become routine. it was seven years since his predecessor was years. too often this military relationship gets broken off. under any conditions, whenever they might be, we have to have the ability to talk to each other. >> the top concern of yours that you developed over your service. is the silver military gap. what concerns you so much about it and be done to address it. >> world less than 1% of the american population right now. we come from fewer and fewer places for lots of reasons.
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we have gotten smaller. we are 40% smaller than when the wall came down in '89 and we are not living in neighborhoods and coaching baseball teams and going to churches. contributing to communities like we used to. we don't know hour neighbors as well as we used to. the american people are incredibly supportive of our men and women in uniform. they know we're in two wars, but i don't the many people don't know what we have been through. the numbers of deployment, the major army units. four, five, six deployments. our special operators have been out there 10 to 20 times. they don't know the stress we have been under. they do not know of the veterans returning and the times. they return throughout the country. i try to give voice to this and hour military must stay tried to our country and the american people. >> in the 30 or so seconds that we have left, what do you do,
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do you need different options to spread services around and get more people to serve? >> i have been one who always thought it was a good idea to have a mandatory service of some kind. it could be peace corps, it could be in the local community. it could be the military. i think that's good for -- you know, an 18 through tour-year- old. at a time when they're looking -- to what they're going to do for the rest of their lives. as well as, this is a young generation that is very much geared to serve. i have seen that, certainly in the military and other ways as well. i think that would be good for america and a good way for america to stay connected to those that would be serving wherever be. >> sir, thank you. we appreciate it. >> thanks. >> coming up in my notebook.
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as president barack obama and congressional leaders wrestle over oo deal to raise the debt limit. it is clear, that we are facing deeper cuts than anticipated. in april, president barack obama announced $400 billion in security cuts. that figure looks like a floor than a peak. republicans target defense to avoid raises taxes. the trouble is, some are saying there might not be a debt ceiling deal at all. republicans are holding steady. freshman are saying that defaulting on the debt would force the country into fiscal ruin. american's investment is attractive, but default just once and the cost of borrowing
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is more expensive. france is eyeing deep spending cuts after three of the major banks were down graded. a similar downgrade of america's debt, would make that debt more expenseival with a cascading effect. remember, greece was forced to adopt a budget because of the international creditors. if washington defaults, america's creditors may move into town and dictate future u.s. spending. so, failure to raise the debt ceiling could pose a greater security threat. thanks for joining us this week in defense news. captions provided by: caption colorado, llc. phone: 1-800-775-7838. email: comments@captcolo.com. i'll be back next week at the same time. until then, i have a great week.
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